1Sambayan USA, which was launched on Wednesday, joins more than 20 chapters of the Philippine opposition movement 1Sambayan.
Filipinos from all over the U.S. and the world are coming together with only one goal in mind: to unite all Democratic forces so that there will only be one united opposition slate that would resoundingly win and defeat the incumbent's presidential bet in the 2022 Philippine elections.
"We need to replace the authoritarian, corrupt, and defeatist Duterte administration. We must end the sellout of Philippine sovereignty to the Chinese government and their militarization in the West Philippine Sea," urged Eric Lachica of the U.S. Filipinos for Good Governance.
For her part, Naida Castro of the National Ecumenical Forum For Filipino Concerns-Inland Empire called for the end to the "the suffering of our people and the shaming of our nation."
From activists to healthcare workers, Filipinos in New York say they all feel the people's suffering under what they describe as a self-serving government. "Sa panahon ni Duterte, pinakawalan niya ang mga magnanakaw, at pinaboran ang mga panginoong durugista (During Duterte's term, he freed thieves and favored drug lords)," lamented healthcare worker Raphael dela Cruz. "Sa panahon ni Duterte, ang mga Pilipino ay nagdurusa -- pagtaas ng bilihin, mababang kalidad ng pamumuhay, paglobo ng utang, pagpatay sa mga Pilipino, at walang konkretong plano laban sa pandemya (Filipinos have suffered with the high cost of goods, low quality of life, bloated debts, killings of Filipinos, and the lack of concrete plans to fight the pandemic)."
The convenors of the 1Sambayan will conduct a 'primary' where members can get to know their potential bets for the 2022 Philippine national elections and vote for them, the same way primaries are held in the U.S. "So the different members of 1Sambayan will be able to vote on their preferred candidates, on the issues that are important to them, that matters to them and will shape overall what the slate would look like," explained 1Sambayan convenor Renee Louise Co.
For now, they say the 1Sambayan movement will focus their energies in registering Filipinos who are eligible to vote come May 2022.